Alice Through The Looking Glass: "Young Lady, Your Time Is Up"

Director: James Bobin
Writer:     Linda Woolverton
Starring: Mia Wasikowska
                Johnny Depp
                Sacha Baron Cohen
                Helena Bonham Carter
                Anne Hathaway
                Rhys Ifans
                Stephen Fry
                Alan Rickman
                Matt Lucas
                Barbara Windsor
                Paul Whitehouse
                Michael Sheen
                Timothy Spall
Rating:    ****

Home Release: October 3, 2016 

The sequel to Tim Burton's divisive Alice in Wonderland, released in 2010, was in cinemas this past summer. Now I personally enjoyed that film, which not many people did; and looking back on it, yes I can see many of the flaws that people spoke of. However, I saw it for what it was, and that was a film for children and families, and it did everything that that sort of movie needed too. When its sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass was announced, there was a lot of people asking 'why?' and 'is it really necessary?'; the answer, after seeing it, is absolutely.

Mia Wasikowska & Johnny Depp
Years after the first film, Alice (Wasikowska) has returned from her travels, and soon finds her self swept up in the old chauvinistic lifestyle that she grew so tired of. Luckily for her, an old friend pays her an unexpected visit, and she soon finds herself returning to the magical world of Underland. Once there she discovers her dear friend, The Mad Hatter (Depp) in a terrible state and nowhere near to being himself. only to find the Hatter in a horrible state. After being informed of a powerful magic by The White Queen (Hathaway), Alice and her chums must travel through time to save the Hatter from his impending doom. Unfortunately, Alice and the creatures of Underland don't have control of their own fate; that is in the hands of old foe The Red Queen (Bonham Carter) and new enemy, known as Time (Baron Cohen).

The returning cast slip back into their original roles like they never stopped playing them. Each actor goes above and beyond, especially the Underland residents, and these performances help to engage the audience, even the younger ones. Helena Bonham Carter's bratty Red Queen and Anne Hathaway's regal White Queen are the perfect opposites as the bickering sisters, and they bounce of one another, and each help to lift and brighten the scenes they are in. The voice cast (including Barbara Windsor and the late Alan Rickman) bring life and energy to their varying critters, and each provide an intriguing and colourful character that you will undoubtedly fall in love with.

Sacha Baron Cohen
Johnny Depp was severely underused in this film, however that was relevant to the storyline. My issue was, that whenever he was acting, his character felt significantly different from when he first played the Hatter, and I actually preferred him the first time around. He was the only cast member that felt disconnected from the role and the personality he had crated previously.

The only new character really is Sacha baron Cohen's, Time. Baron Cohen does a good job at being, well himself. It is rare that any of his characters are actually that different from one another, but as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke...why try and fix it. he is the perfect mix of comical and evil that a Disney villain needs to be; and it helps to give the film an extra layer of fun.

Helena Bonham Carter & Anne Hathaway
James Bobin takes all of the good parts from Tim Burton's original and does all he can to amplify them. Burton's came across as too convoluted and ended up boring some people and actually taking away the magic that we love from Underland. Bobin's Underland is magical, colourful and simple. It focuses more on a clever and funny script, giving the cast something much better to work with. This means that the film emotionally connected with me more than the original and I really felt for the characters and cheered them on throughout. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass is a vast improvement on the first film, which I did enjoy anyway despite its flaws, and it can be yours to own and enjoy as a family from October 3, on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Download.

 Alice Through the Looking Glass - Trailer